A number of the top-fancied mares to take out...
Make it 28 straight for mighty mare Winx.
It was another sea of blue at Flemington on Saturday as the seven-year old claimed her 21st Group 1 win in the $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m), but the victory didn’t come without another last minute scare from jockey Hugh Bowman.
Caught along the rails on the final turn, the Cox Plate favourite found herself in unfamiliar territory second last with plenty of ground to make up down the straight.
Of course, if there’s one horse that can win from that position it’s Winx, and like we’re so used to seeing, Bowman stayed cool, calm and collected as she shifted through her gears.
“I really didn’t want to be there,” Bowman told Racing.com after Saturday’s win.
“I didn’t have much choice, and when the pressure went on it was good because once we were all settled in our position the pace was quite steady, and when the sprint went on those horses that couldn’t quicken as well left a few options for me.”
The lack of speed in the race kept Bowman patient, and despite the late challenge, he felt as though the run did Winx some good.
“The final 100, it was just extraordinary, that’ll do her good,” Bowman said.
“She’s had to really dig deep over the final 600m today, that’ll bring her on nicely for the fourth Cox Plate, hopefully, in three week’s time”
Impressively enough, fellow Chris Waller stablemate Youngstar proved to be Winx’s biggest challenger on the day, kicking home hard down the middle of the straight to finish second.
Already on a Caulfield Cup (2400m) path, the four-year old mare has firmed from $13.00 into $6.00 with Ladbrokes.
As for Waller, he was always confident Winx could find some gaps and become only the third runner to claim multiple Turnbull Stakes victories.
“She hasn’t been there for a long time, I don’t know when, but the Doncaster was one of those races.” Waller admitted following the win.
“Look, it’s the best way to ride a horse, it was a picture perfect Bowman ride but you’re riding on a bit of luck, but fortunately the gaps came and she had a bit of ground to make up but we’re at Flemington, it’s just home for a race horse really, the way they can get into their legs, get into their gears, that’s what she did so naturally today.”
Winx jumped away cleanly, on the inside towards the back with 1500m to go. She now has a three week break before she saddles up for the $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27.
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